Crufts dog show finishes in chaos as animal rights protesters storm winners' presentation

Peta confirms it was behind demonstration against 'canine eugenics' as dog show organisers promise urgent security review

Chris Baynes
Monday 12 March 2018 02:37
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Security tackle Crufts 'stage invaders' as Best in Show is awarded

Crufts dog show has ended in chaos after animal rights protesters stormed the arena as the winner was being announced live on television.

The two intruders were wrestled to the ground by security as they tried to unfurl banners reading "canine eugenics" after breaking through a barrier and onto the show floor at the NEC in Birmingham.

The demonstration, organised by Peta, came as dog owner Yvette Short stepped up to the podium with her Best in Show winner – a two-and-a-half-year-old female whippet named Tease.

Ms Short, from Edinburgh, grabbed the dog as the protesters, a man and woman, burst into the ring to boos from the audience. The pair were quickly chased down and tackled by security and were led away by to applause from the crowd.

Crufts and the NEC Group said would review security procedures as “a matter of urgency” following the drama, which aired live on Channel 4.

A Crufts spokesman said: “It appears that protesters from Peta gained unauthorised access to the ring in the main arena at Crufts, and in doing so scared the dogs and put the safety of both dogs and people at risk in a hugely irresponsible way.

“Our main priority at the moment is the wellbeing of the dogs that were in the ring, who are looked after by their owners and show officials.

“The NEC Group have extensive security procedures in place at Crufts and we, along with the NEC Group, will be reviewing what happened as a matter of urgency.”

Peta confirmed it had organised the protest, carried out by two activists from the Vegan Strike Group, an international organisation which uses direct action to campaign against animal abuse.

Peta said the demonstrators had “highlighted the suffering of dogs bred by humans to have grossly exaggerated features” and were carrying banners which reading “Crufts: Canine Eugenics”.

Elisa Allen, Peta UK director, said: “Crufts glorifies pedigree fetishists’ twisted pursuit of the ‘perfect’ dog’. There’s nothing natural about breeding dogs with extreme and debilitating physical traits, and PETA urges everyone to stay away from this cruel beauty pageant.”

The Best in Show award was the culmination of Crufts, a four-day event which attracted almost 21,000 competitors

The runner-up was a Pointer named Chilli, the winner of the gundog breeds category.

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